University of Antwerp

PhD candidate for bioinformatics research in the field of cancer (epi)genetics

2023-06-25 (Europe/Brussels)
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Let’s shape the future – University of Antwerp

The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Antwerp and the Biomedical faculty at KU Leuven are looking for a full-time (100%) PhD candidate for bioinformatics research in the field of cancer (epi)genetics.


The UAntwerp and KULeuven have an open position for a joint PhD to study the impact of cell-free DNA on clinical decision making in patients with a neuroendocrine neoplasm. The overall goal of this project is to optimize, benchmark and validate two novel technologies in an extensive patient cohort.

On the UAntwerp side, the candidate will be part of the Departments of Medical Genetics (CMG) and the Center for Oncological Research (CORE), which have a long-standing collaboration on oncological research. The CMG is a genetic diagnostic institution within the UAntwerp and the UZA and has more than 130 specialized staff with a state-of-the-art genetic lab, and strong expertise in many contemporary genetic technologies. The CORE consists of multiple teams conducting pioneering research into new cancer treatments and diagnostic methods. In doing so, they focus on multiple aspects such as new targeted drugs, immunotherapy, and the development of patient-derived organoids (or mini-tumors).

On the KULeuven side you will be part of the Department of Human Genetics (CME) and the Department of Oncology with a strong collaboration towards the development of innovative cancer screening and diagnostic methods. The Centre of Human Genetics (CME), the medical genetics unit of the University Hospital Leuven (UZ Leuven), is amongst the largest diagnostic facilities in Europe with over 60k tests per annum of which a large fraction is oncology.  You will be a part of the laboratory of cytogenetics and genome research, which pioneers translational genomics and multiple breakthrough technologies for liquid biopsy analysis. You will be embedded in a multidisciplinary group working towards development, validation and implementation of novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, innovative therapeutic strategies and of the cutting-edge techniques for non-invasive disease detection to improve patient care.

Your position

  • You conduct oncological bioinformatic scientific research in collaboration with researchers at UAntwerpen and KU Leuven. Considering this is a joint PhD, the candidate is expected to be present alternately and by mutual agreement at both workplaces.
  • You prepare a doctoral dissertation in this field.
  • You compete for externally funded research grants.

Your profile

  • You hold a master’s degree in bioinformatics or in one of the life sciences (biomedical sciences, biochemistry, bioengineering, etc.) or you will obtain this degree by July 2023 at the latest.
  • You are familiar with Linux/Unix command line and high-performance computing environments.
  • You are familiar with multiple programming languages such as R and Python.
  • You are able to develop and implement workflows and pipelines for the analysis of large data sets.
  • You are familiar with bioinformatic analysis of large genetic/biological datasets, such as RNA-seq, whole genome sequencing and DNA methylation data.
  • You can present excellent study results (at least distinction).
  • You have excellent problem-solving and analytical capabilities.
  • You have good communication and interpersonal skills.
  • You have a strong interest in scientific research and data analysis.
  • You are quality-oriented, honest, creative, and collaborative.
  • Your research qualities align with faculty and university research policies.
  • You have a good knowledge of English (both written and spoken) and knowledge of Dutch.
  • You agree with the active pluralistic vision of the UAntwerp and KU Leuven.

What we offer

  • You will join two dynamic research environments within the University of Antwerp and KULeuven of several PhD students with similar research interests, where a stimulating research climate is ensured through regular meetings and activities.
  • We offer a doctoral scholarship for a period of 1 year. The scholarship is renewable after positive evaluation with a term of 3 years (total tenure of max. 4 years).
  • The anticipated start date is October 1, 2023
  • Your monthly scholarship is calculated according to the scholarship amounts for doctoral fellows in the scales for Special Academic Personnel.
  • You will receive eco-vouchers, internet connectivity allowance and a bicycle allowance or full reimbursement of public transport costs for commuting. You can find more information about this “working at the UAntwerp” on the UAntwerp website.
  • Information about the KU Leuven can be found here:About KU Leuven - KU Leuven

Want to apply?

Job details

PhD candidate for bioinformatics research in the field of cancer (epi)genetics
Prinsstraat 13 Antwerp, Belgium
Application deadline
2023-06-25 23:59 (Europe/Brussels)
2023-06-25 23:59 (CET)
Job type
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The University of Antwerp is characterised by its high standards in education, internationally competitive research and entrepreneurial approach.

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